Even though we spent quite a lot of time in Reykjavik, we did not stay in a hotel in the downtown area. Instead, we stayed in an AirBnB which was a 20 walk to town. We chose the Vesturbaejar neighborhood which I highly recommend. One of the neighborhood coffeehouses we frequented was Kaffihus Vesturbaejar (we stayed down the street).
Thordis has a sister with a wonderful jewelry shop in Reykjavik which is worth a visit. Her sister trained in jewelry making in Barcelona, Spain.
Our guide attempts to teach us a few words in Icelandic. It is a very challenging language to learn but it is thought to be one of the purest languages in Scandinavia and has changed little since the 12th century. Modern readers can read ancient texts. Also, there are no dialects on the island.
Citywalk tour was a great way to get to know downtown Reykjavik and was an irreverent and informative tour of the city. The best part is that the tour was free. While on this tour, we learned about a dating app for Icelanders, that (jokingly) would tell potential daters if they were related to the person they wanted to date.
I found a link below which reflected what the guide told us and what we read in the National Museum of Iceland. This is definitely worth visiting. I recommend going to this at the end of the trip as this will be a nice "wrap-up."
Reykjavik from church, you can see the shadow of the spire in the foreground
Here is the bridge to get home. We stayed a 20 minute walk from downtown.
Walking home from the local supermarket market. There is a Bonus supermarket in downtown Reykjavik right near the US Embassy. Food can be somewhat expensive (roughly San Francisco prices) so we cooked the majority of our meals in the AirBnB. However, we did have a superb fish dinner with Thordis at Kol restaurant downtown.
In the background, locals would walk or play sports on the ice. We saw a group of kids playing soccer and they would slip, get up and keep playing.
When Icelandic teenagers want to be "rebellious", they don't dress appropriately for the sub-freezing weather. We saw one teenager walking on the ice with a sock on one foot while the other foot was bare.
View from our Air BnB in southern Iceland. We stayed on a horse ranch. The AirBnB was located at Heistheimar in Hella on the southern coast of Iceland. These are cute little cottages and include a kitchenette. Even though there was a cafe, we never set foot in it and made our own meals. This is located close to most of the famous attractions in Southern Iceland. There is a huge Bonus supermarket in Selfoss on the way to Hestheimer. Even though there are other supermarkets, the Bonus in Selfoss is the biggest and the best and a good place to stock up as you head south.
Sunset from our window at Hestheimr. The horses/ponies are in the background
We went from Hestheimer to the tourist attractions on the Golden Circle. We went to Geysir to see the geysers which were very crowded but impressive nonetheless. There were tons of tour buses and it was off season. Still, this was a place of beauty with the snow capped mountains in the background. It was funny to see the other tourists who had also packed sandwiches, and were enjoying their goodies outside. Glenda was tempted to boil eggs in the thermal water at 180 degrees f, but we didn't have a proper bag to do it in.
After Geysir, we went to Gulfoss and had our sandwiches in the parking lot. These falls were totally worth the drive and offered panoramic views of the mountains contrasted against the frozen turbulence of the falls. We were both feeling somewhat tired (remember that driving in Iceland takes 100% energy) so we spent a lot of time in the cafe overlooking the falls. I'm glad we did as it gave us time to "take in" the scenes surrounding us. We also enjoyed free flowing coffee with caramel apple cake. Later, we drove back to Reykjavik to stay in our totally cool AirBnB. Of course, we got lost as Google and Garmin told us completely different things. However, usually Google was more accurate.